With a children’s series that addresses race and culture, Garcelle Beauvais is not one to hide her heritage under a bushel. The actress and author recently had a sit-down with Baby Zone where she discussed the concept of race and explained how she helps her twin sons, Jaid and Jax, overcome the societal stigma that sometimes comes with being mixed.
Garcelle told Baby Zone that she allows her sons to have the best of both worlds in exploring both Haitian and European cultures. “My kids, because they go back and forth between two homes, get my culture and the way I run my house, and then get the same thing when they are with their dad,” said the actress. “It’s really about embracing both heritages, and letting them know a little bit about each other’s families. It’s just like a parent adopting a child from a different country who celebrates that child’s heritage as a way to let the child know where they’re from. As parents of mixed kids, I think we need to have that same spirit of honoring and embracing our different backgrounds. There’s a lot to celebrate.”
Beauvais also told media that she teaches her kids to be confident in who they are saying, “I am very open with them…Knowing that somebody might say to Jax or Jaid, ‘Your mommy is black and your daddy is white,’ or something related, has given me a chance to prepare them for how they should respond in these situations. Making sure they already have the words, and know what to say, is part of making sure they feel confident about who they are.”
Garcelle further explained, “I realize that helping Jax and Jaid develop positive feelings about themselves and their heritage is all about self-acceptance. It’s being proud of you are. If anything, that’s what I would like to instill in my boys. If you are confident then people can’t drag you down or bully you. That’s what I want to teach them.”
Beauvais was inspired by her sons to write the first book in her ‘I AM’ children’s series, I Am Mixed, which addresses attitudes towards biracial children. Jaid and Jax are Garcelle and ex-husband Mike Nilon’s kids. The actress also has a son named Oliver with ex-husband Daniel Saunders.